I’ll admit it up front — I was tempted to throw in the towel on this one and just give every player a 10. Sometimes, with such a good all-round team performance, it gets very difficult to assess players individually. And it doesn’t help that Martino appears to be shifting the tactics a bit and moving toward a more “total football” approach.
With that being said, let’s go right ahead and do the easy part. Man of the Match goes to Miguel Almiron. He was our choice last week too over Julian Gressel, who was the community choice. Somehow I don’t think there’ll be an argument this week.
And now, on with the divinely appointed Dirty South Soccer Staff Player Ratings:
GK: Alec Kann - 8. Another strong showing from the Georgia native, who is doing his best to make the selection of Brad Guzan a tougher decision. He had 4 saves on the day, and his distribution looked better than it usually does. He was of course entirely blameless for the PK goal.
RB: Tyrone Mears - 7. Mears stayed very wide the entire game, but was very busy with 72 total touches and 62 passes. However, only 40 of those were successful, and only 19 in the attacking half.
CB: Michael Parkhurst - 7. A much improved game over the previous two for Parky. No errors, 4 clearances, and a staggering 94 touches (86 passes). Amazingly, he did not have a single tackle all game, which is an indication of the weakness of the Dynamo attack.
CB: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez - 7. Normally when you don’t hear a CB’s name called much in a game, that’s a good sign. Not so much for LGP, who usually gets forward a lot. Saturday, he had only 6 touches inside the attacking half and only 2 in the attacking third. Like Parkhurst, tackles were virtually non-existent – only 2, and only one inside the penalty area.
LB: Greg Garza - 6. Much less active than Mears on the other wing, although he did move around the field more broadly. Garza had a fairly low 49 touches and 36 passes, and looked a little gimpy still despite the week off.
CM: Jeff Larentowicz - 6.5. A generally decent performance, but loses a half point for giving up the PK with a handball that I think was a slightly iffy call (and on a play that could have been argued as offside too).
CM: Carlos Carmona - 7. Carmona has quickly established himself as a solid presence in the Atlanta midfield, although he did not get forward this week much more than his partner Larry did. Pretty similar performance, minus the handball.
CAM: Miguel Almiron - 9.5. Oh Miggy, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. A near flawless game for the Big Grin, who obviously found the shooting confidence he was looking for. Also love the shout-out goal celebration to his wife, who conveniently has the same initial as the city he plays for. On his way to becoming an MLS superstar. Loses a half point because there’s no such thing as a perfect game. This isn’t baseball.
LW: Yamil Asad - 8. Assisted on both of Almiron’s open play goals. 2 shots, 62 touches, 46 passes. His block of Torres’ shot led to the handball and PK, but the play was definitely the right one to make.
RW: Julian Gressel - 8. Scored for the second straight week, recovering beautifully after completely losing track of the ball for a great side-footed opportunistic strike. For me, though, his best play was the diving cross to keep the ball in play to set up Almiron’s second goal.
FWD: Tito Villalba - 7. Assisted on Gressel’s goal, although Gressel really did most of the work himself. Took only 1 of Atlanta’s 12 shots. That’s pretty low for a striker.
SUB: Kevin Kratz - 7. Kratz is developing into a reliable late-game sub, and came on for Gressel in the 80th minute. Didn’t do much, but the game was well in hand at that point.
SUB: Kenwyne Jones - not rated. Another late clean-up substitution for Villalba in the 83rd minute. Becoming less important in the overall Atlanta scheme by the week.
SUB: Andrew Carleton - 6,604. I was going to give Carleton a not rated, but the prospect of being mobbed by irate DSS readers did not appeal. His rating instead is the age difference in days between him and DaMarcus Beasley, whom he took on late in the game. Side note: Carleton is the second youngest player currently rostered on an MLS team to get first team minutes (Vancouver’s Alphonso Davies is the youngest). And as far as I can tell, he’s the third youngest historically, also behind Freddy Adu (who he?). Carleton is the fourth-youngest rostered player in MLS, although the youngest two have not played. Also, of the seven youngest MLS players, only Davies does not play for Atlanta or FC Dallas.
COACH: Tata Martino - 8.5. Great game plan. Loses a half point for getting ejected, although his clearance was spectacular.
Atlanta United fans – 11. Because you turned it all the way up. Well done, every rain-soaked, anthem-singing, chant-screaming one of you.